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A Paranoid Wacko's Vision of the Future

How the war on terror will become a war on liberty.

by James Leroy Wilson
September 16, 2004

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Over the past three years, the United States government pulled off a remarkable trifecta, the most amazing since 1913 to consolidate power upward.* What we have today is the President’s nearly unrestricted power to wage the War on Terror against any country, group, or individual he pleases. And we have the PATRIOT ACT which makes government spying on Americans, not just “suspected” terrorists, for any possible crime or non-crime, permissible. And then we have the McCain-Feingold Bi-partisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, which effectively repealed the First Amendment freedoms of critics of incumbents and their major opponents.

Under the pretext of fighting foreign terrorists and “cleaning up” the political process, we have enlarged government power and destroyed our own Bill of Rights.

The signs are ominous. Let me put it this way. If five years ago somebody said that in just a few years, we’ll have a President throwing whoever he wants into prison camps, federal agents will spy on us without search warrants, and the denial of free speech rights of activists during election season, he’d be called a paranoid wacko. But the paranoid wacko would have been right.

Who stands to lose from this power-grab by the feds? That question can best be answered by who stands to win. Who wins are the ambitious and the powerful who want to be successful in the current system. This group doesn’t just include the top of the political, corporate, academic, and media worlds, but many other career people in the public service sector, from government employee unions, and teacher’s unions, for whom more government means more employees and more clout. And also, those workers who benefit from government contracts. It’s a huge sector of people willing to go along with things if they feel they personally benefit.

So the losers, the final targets and victims of these powers will be, not only foreign belligerents and terrorists, but also those within our country who come right out and say that these powers are immoral and unconstitutional. You know, people like the “unpatriotic conservatives.”

It won’t, of course, begin with them - it hasn’t begun with them. But there will be a chain, and it may take a generation of government-school propaganda to restore America to what the powers want it to be, a 1950’s pro-government people of shallow religiosity. But at the end of the chain is the conservative Protestant who owns guns and home-schools. Gun owners will be legally-defined “suspected terrorists.” The home school will be a legally-defined source of “anti-American hatred.” And the Roman Catholic who speaks out against birth control and homosexuality will be a target. He’ll be guilty of federally-defined “hate speech,” brought to us courtesy the precedent of McCain-Feingold. And hate speech will be described as “inciting terror.”

And the reforms in the wake of Abu Ghraib will not be reforms preventing torture, but reforms that will better hide torture from public view. The next generation’s young adults will be so brutalized and made stupid by public education, that they won’t think twice about doing to a fellow countryman, what they now don’t think twice about doing to foreigners of a different color, religion, and language.

There will be steps along the way. I don‘t know what all of them will be, or in what order. These, I suspect, will be a few of them:

Shutting down of publishing houses of genuinely subversive books. (I don’t mean the libertarian ones, I mean more extreme ones, which shall remain nameless. The libertarians, however, will be targeted later on for the same reasons.)

Heightened political rhetoric against a “dangerous element” in our society: Christian “fundamentalists” who will be designated, not by themselves or the greater Christian theological community, but by, of course, government experts.

Financial blackmail of the universities, perhaps even the imposition of “national standards” for graduation just like in elementary and secondary schools.

One more incident by a murderous white American fanatic, and Congress, building on Oklahoma City and Columbine, will expand its Terrorism powers even further to gun owners and those who have a known (or just possible) interest in “right wing” causes.

Laws will ban political parties and candidates from participating in “hate speech.” The candidate for the Constitution Party will be indicted - even though he will be clearly innocent under the letter of the (unconstitutional) law. And for the zillionth time, the statement will be uttered by pro-liberty partisans: “Well, now the government has really gone too far!”

Can liberty be restored to the political order? I don’t know. It is good to try, however you see fit, for liberty would best serve posterity. But liberty can’t really be given to us initially, let alone “restored” to us, by the State. For the generally free individual lives according to his principles, his values, his conscience. He doesn’t live in fear, then, of criminal or terrorist attacks, or of poverty, or the scorn of others, or of being fired for being politically incorrect, or the possibility of imprisonment or a death sentence.

The outlook for America and its liberty is bleak. I think the solution is no longer to save “America” but to save ourselves - the friends of liberty - ideally in an organized manner, but at least individually. “America” as we want it to be is gone, folks, and it ain’t coming back.

*In 1913, it was the creation of the Federal Reserve banking cartel, and the Constitutional Amendments establishing the Income Tax and the direct election of U.S Senators (from which they could become unaccountable demagogues who loot the federal treasury rather than protect the interests of their respective states).

Comments (5)

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Michael H. Thomson from Hurricane Alley, Florida writes:
September 16, 2004
A very scary article JLW - I hope for all of our sakes that it is not prophetic.

Jonathan Wilson from Chicago writes:
September 16, 2004
From time to time I have been public in questioning JLW. Not on this article. JLW has charted a trajectory that is so reasonable as to be counted likely. It is extremely disturbing but neither paranoid nor wacko.

Sincerely, Pastor Jonathan Wilson, Chicago

James Leroy Wilson from the Swamp writes:
September 17, 2004
Thanks for the comments. As an addendum to my article, I just want to point out that the same day it was published, Wendy McElroy at LewRockwell.com came out with evidence that 3 out of 4 Congressmen want your children screened for mental illness as defined by the government, and possibly drugged by the government. You may find that article here: www.lewrockwell.com/mcelroy/mcelroy36.html

Brian Mack from Grand Rapids, MI writes:
September 20, 2004

I understand your premise in regards to the Patriot act and the ramifications for unrestrained govormental intrusion. But you lost me on the McCain-Feingold thing. Perhaps I am not well-versed enough in the detail of that particular piece of legislation. Would you mind breaking it down for me?

While I am hesitant to do so, I am going to go out on a limb here (call me idealistic) and suggest that the the future is not as grim a picture as you paint. Your premise conjures up virtually every apocolyptic third world war scenario that I have ever seen. All you need to do is throw in a computer generated reality, a couple of human hunting androids, 24 hour surveillance through our television sets, and mass distribution of sedatives to the lower classes and we'd have one whiz bang of a screenplay!

Ours is an inefficient, corruptable, and all too often failing system of government. However, I think that we can agree that it is also the best working model the world has ever seen. We have several examples of JLW's dark view, my question would then be what is the light view? Is there anything that your happy about vis a vie the way that the country is going?

James Leroy Wilson from The Swamp writes:
September 20, 2004
Thanks, Brian, for the letter. As far as McCain-Feingold goes, one of the effects of it is to prevent public interest groups like the ACLU or NRA to not only run attack ads but virtually any ad that questions a candidate's record, sixty days before an election. The heart - the very purpose of the First Amendment - has been ripped out.

The title of the article was intended so that everyone take it with a grain of salt. I'm not saying that this dreary scenario will unfold. But I do see cultural and intellectual forces at work which make it far less implausible than one might suspect. And I would rather cultivate a spirit of suspicion and indignation when politicians seek to centralize power and curb liberty, than to cultivate a spirit of complacency and trust in the system. That is, to suggest that totalitarianism is a possible outcome for America, even though we want to deny that it can't happen here.

Some of Brian's other points will be the subject of my next article.

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